The ‘3 Vs’ of wine (by Allen R. Balik)

Posted: January 15, 2013 by wynmaker in Cellars, Farms, Oenology, Origin, Vinification, Vintage, Wine, Winemaking, Wineries, World wine news
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Vintage, Varietal, Vineyard.

Vintage, Varietal, Vineyard.



In real estate it’s “location, location, location” and in the diamond trade it’s the “4 Cs” – color, clarity, cut and carat (weight) — that are benchmarks of quality. But do any yardsticks like these exist when talking about wine?

Recently, I was leading a tasting and the question arose: “What defines the vital elements that express the quality of a specific wine?”

We discussed terroir (the grape vine’s total environment), winemaking and, of course, marketing among other topics. But nothing concisely answered the question.

While exploring the subject with the tasting group it suddenly dawned on me that a wine’s quality is a measure of its “3 Vs” – varietal, vineyard and vintage. Is the wine expressive of its varietal character? Is the wine true to its place of origin? Is the wine demonstrative of the vintage?

During a spirited discussion, everyone had an opinion but we all agreed on the significance of the 3 Vs and the importance of their order as well. Above all, the varietal character of a wine should stand out and is then supported by its vineyard and vintage characteristics.

Each varietal has its own personality. This truth has been appreciated and handed down for centuries in the growing and making of fine wine in the traditional manner. A varietal’s personality places it as the foundation of the 3 Vs whether it stands on its own (cabernet sauvignon) or is an important part of a well crafted blend (Bordeaux).
Read on …

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